Florida Supreme Court says red light cameras are legal, but are they safe?

Yesterday, May 3, 2018, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that municipal red light camera programs are generally legal so long as they follow a certain protocol. That still leaves the question on many Floridians’ minds, are they safe? The short answer is no, they make intersections where they are installed less safe, which is probably why politicians will not be restarting their red light camera programs.

redlightcameraanalysis2015 pdf

For example, Boynton Beach is the only city in Palm Beach County that has an active red light program at some of its intersections. When faced with evidence of over a 206% increase in accidents at such intersections, Boynton Beach restarted its red light program anyway, proving the program is about revenue generation and not safety. Across Florida, total crashes and the total number of fatalities increased after red light cameras are installed.

Another statistic discovered through the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles study found that of the intersections analyzed, Boynton Beach had zero crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists before the cameras were installed but that number jumped to five after they were installed. Boca Raton had a similar jump from one to three (Boca Raton ended its red light camera program).

Efforts are still underway to ban the cameras in the 2019 Florida legislative session. The Libertarian Party of Florida has been a leader in working to end red light cameras since they were frist introduced in Florida.

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